Snowpit from La Cal Basin

Location Name: 
La Cal Basin
La Cal Basin or Lost Lake Area
Date and time of observation: 
Sun, 12/17/2017 - 10:42
Location Map: 
United States
36° 32' 53.1348" N, 105° 24' 34.2972" W

Red Flags: 

Observation made by: Forecaster
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Headed out for a long walk to see what this prolonged dry spell has done to our very limited snowpack.  I figured I might as well walk to the highest point of New Mexico to get a vantage point of the snow distribution in our range. Travel is difficult, which has made it hard to get to higher elevations. The goal of the day was to see what the potential storm on Thurs-Sunday might be falling on.  Snow is confined to northerly or shady aspects starting around 9500'.  Snow on the ground typically ranges from 1 to 6" of cohessionless facets.  At higher elevations isolated wind slabs have formed over faceted layers of snow.  


Photo 1: Snowpit from a wind loaded slope in La Cal Basin on a NNE aspect around 12,780'

Photo 2:  Location of the snowpit.  Grass and dirt on an Easterly aspects quickly turns to 2-3 feet of snow on a northerly aspect at higher elevations.

Photo 3: No snow on southerly aspects in Long Canyon

Photo 4: Pockets of snow on northerly aspects

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Temperatures were warming during the day, with snow melting at 10,000' around mid-day